CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to EADT Suffolk today CLICK HERE

The Kitchen Garden: a sow-sow month

PUBLISHED: 09:00 03 February 2016

Strip out the stems and mid ribs

Strip out the stems and mid ribs

Archant

February is an odd month in the vegetable garden, says Linda Duffin – you’re still dealing with hard, icy ground and winter temperatures, but you’re keen to get ahead before the mad hurly-burly of spring planting.

The humble kale has become quite trendyThe humble kale has become quite trendy

My late father-in-law always used to sow his tomato seeds on Valentine’s Day, which seems appropriate when you remember that the tomato used to be known as the love apple. Fond as he was of them, he did it because it was an easy-to-remember date, rather than any belief in their aphrodisiac qualities.

It is a tradition we have continued and February also sees us sowing peppers, chillies and aubergines. We start them off indoors on a heated pad, though a sunny windowsill works too. Then they are transferred, still in their seed trays, to an unheated greenhouse until they are big enough to plant out in the greenhouse beds. If you don’t have a greenhouse or cold frame with both ample light and frost protection,

you’re probably better off waiting, otherwise they could get too leggy or worse, be killed by the cold.

This is also a good time to sow brassicas – cabbages, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and the various broccolis. Again, we start them off in the warm before moving them to the greenhouse or a cold frame. It is still too soon to plant new potatoes, but early varieties can be chitted now for a head start. Put them in trays or old egg boxes in a cool, light place and they will soon start to sprout. Remember to take them out of the nets they are packed in or you will curse yourself later when you try to disentangle the shoots and half of them snap off (guilty as charged).

Sesame prawn toast with kale seaweedSesame prawn toast with kale seaweed

And of course you can continue to harvest whatever you have left in the veg patch. One vegetable that can weather almost any conditions is kale. It has become very trendy in the last few years, but it’s one of those love-it-or-hate it veg. If you fall into the latter category, I hope to convert you with this recipe for Chinese

New Year.

Sesame Prawn Toast with Kale Seaweed

Serves 4 as a starter

Ingredients

For the prawn toast:

250g raw prawns, cleaned

1 tspn fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 tbsp spring onions, very finely chopped

1 tbsp light soy sauce

½ tspn salt

1 tspnsesame oil

2 tbsp beaten egg

4-5 slices of dryish white bread, crusts removed

4 tbsp sesame seeds, oil for frying

For the kale seaweed:

2-3 big handfuls of kale

1 tspn salt

1-2 tspn caster sugar,

pinch of five spice powder

oil

Method

Put the prawns in a food processor with the ginger, spring onion, soy sauce, salt, sesame oil and beaten egg and blitz to a paste.

Cut the bread into rectangles, four to a slice, and press the prawn paste onto one side, mounding it towards the centre.

Put the sesame seeds on a plate and press the prawn side of the bread into the seeds. Put about three inches of vegetable oil in a deep pan on a medium heat and fry the toasts in batches.

Cook prawn-side down for 2-3 minutes then turn them until both sides are golden.

Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

For the seaweed, pre-heat the oven to 220C/Gas 7. Strip the stems and coarse central ribs from the kale and discard.Chop the leaves finely.

Spread them in a thin layer in an oven tin, drizzle with a little oil and toss. Cook for about six minutes, but check every two minutes. They should be crisp and dark green. Stir through the salt, sugar and

five spice.

Linda Duffin blogs as Mrs Portly https://mrsportlyskitchen.wordpress.com

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other EADT Suffolk Magazine visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by EADT Suffolk Magazine staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique EADT Suffolk Magazine account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

11:30

As the colder weather starts to creep in, there isn’t a better place to spend a chilly evening than a cosy pub. We pick 15 of the best places in Suffolk where you can warm up next to the fire while trying a pint of local real ale

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

If you’re stuck for ideas about where to get your Sunday roast fix this weekend, then give one of these 20 Suffolk pubs a try!

Read more
Friday, October 5, 2018

As we move towards Christmas Suffolk’s top pubs and restaurants are developing menus that perfectly complement the festive season. Here are 8 you should consider this winter

Read more
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Retired jockey Eva Moscrop is opening Cortado Espresso Bar on September 15th on Newmarket’s Exeter Road. The first 100 customers will also receive a free coffee!

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

We all love a good cup of coffee, whether it’s a latte, flat white or just plain black Suffolk is home to a multitude of wonderful local coffee shops. Here are 10 of our favourites with no chains in sight!

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Suffolk is home to some of the nation’s most beautiful waterways - the River Waveney, the River Deben and the River Stour all offer stunning scenery that captures the heart of locals and visitors alike. There is nothing better than enjoying dinner and a drink by the water, so here are some of the county’s prettiest riverside pubs…

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Make a day of your trip to the garden centre with tea and cake. We pick six garden centres in Suffolk with cosy tea rooms to enjoy

Read more
Thursday, August 16, 2018

From pretty pub gardens to restaurants overlooking the ocean, Suffolk is a treasure-trove of wonderful places for al fresco dining. With that in mind we’ve picked nine of our favourite places to enjoy a meal in the sun

Read more
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Suffolk is home to some of the best cream teas in Britain – from country house hotels to chilled out coffee shops, we pick 9 places worth a visit

Read more
Wednesday, August 8, 2018

When you’re by the coast or out and about in Suffolk nothing beats traditional fish and chips. A large battered cod, crunchy fried chips with lots of salt and vinegar and of course a side of mushy peas and curry sauce. Here are 15 of our favourite places to try tasty fish and chips in Suffolk

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

EADT Suffolk Magazine regular newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search